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Saɱyutta Nikāya
3. Khandha Vagga
22. Khandha Saɱyutta
9. Thera Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
3. The Book Called the Khandhā-Vagga
Containing Kindred Sayings on the Elements of Sensory Existence and other Subjects
22. Kindred Sayings on Elements
9. The Elders

Sutta 84

Tissa Suttaɱ

Tissa[1]

Translated by F. L. Woodward
Edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[106] [90]

[1][than][olds][bodh] Thus have I heard:—

Once the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī
in Jeta Grove,
at Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

Now at that time the venerable Tissa,
nephew to the Exalted One's father,
thus spoke to a number of brethren:

"Truly, friends, my body has become as if drugged;[2]
the four quarters are become dim to my eyes,
and the teachings[3] are no longer clear to me.

Sloth and torpor possess my heart:
joyless to me is the righteous life,
and I waver in the teachings."

Thereupon a number of brethren went to the Exalted One,
saluted him
and sat down at one side.

So seated, those brethren said to the Exalted One:

"Lord, the venerable Tissa,
nephew to the Exalted One's father,
speaks thus to a number of brethren:

'Truly, friends, my body has become as if drugged;
the four quarters are become dim to my eyes,
and the teachings are no longer clear to me.

Sloth and torpor possess my heart:
joyless to me is the righteous life,
and I waver in the teachings.'"

At that, the Exalted One called to a certain brother:

"Come thou, brother,
and in my name
bid hither brother Tissa, saying:

'Friend Tissa, the Master would speak to you.'"

"Even so, lord,"
said that brother in reply to the Exalted [91] One,
and went to the venerable Tissa and said to him:

"Frieɱd Tissa, the Master would speak to you."

"Even so, brother,"
said the venerable Tissa in reply to that brother,
and came to the Exalted One,
saluted him
and sat down at one side.

As he thus sat
the Exalted One thus spake unto the venerable Tissa:

"Is it true, as they say, Tissa,
that you said this to a number of brethren:

'Truly, friends, my body has become as if drugged;
the four quarters are become dim to my eyes,
and the teachings are no longer clear to me.

Sloth and torpor possess my heart:
joyless to me is the righteous life,
and I waver in the teachings.'?"

"True, lord."

 

§

 

"Now as to that, what think you, Tissa?

In a body that is not rid of lust,
not rid of desire,
not rid of love,
not rid of thirst,
not rid of fever,
not rid of craving, -
in such a body
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Yes, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

In feelings that are not rid of lust,
not rid of desire,
not rid of love,
not rid of thirst,
not rid of fever,
not rid of craving, -
in such feelings
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Yes, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

In perceptions that are not rid of lust,
not rid of desire,
not rid of love,
not rid of thirst,
not rid of fever,
not rid of craving, -
in such perceptions
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Yes, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

In activities that are not rid of lust,
not rid of desire,
not rid of love,
not rid of thirst,
not rid of fever,
not rid of craving, -
in such activities
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Yes, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

In consciousness that is not rid of lust,
not rid of desire,
not rid of love,
not rid of thirst,
not rid of fever,
not rid of craving, -
in such consciousness
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Yes, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

 

§

 

Now what think you, Tissa?

In a body that is rid of lust,
rid of desire,
rid of love,
rid of thirst,
rid of fever,
rid of craving, -
in such a body
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

In feelings that are rid of lust,
rid of desire,
rid of love,
rid of thirst,
rid of fever,
rid of craving, -
in such feelings
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

In perceptions that are rid of lust,
rid of desire,
rid of love,
rid of thirst,
rid of fever,
rid of craving, -
in such perceptions
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

In activities that are rid of lust,
rid of desire,
rid of love,
rid of thirst,
rid of fever,
rid of craving, -
in such activities
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

In consciousness that is rid of lust,
rid of desire,
rid of love,
rid of thirst,
rid of fever,
rid of craving, -
in such consciousness
do there arise
states of change and instability?

Do sorrow and grief,
woe,
lamentation
and despair arise?"

"Surely not, lord."

"Well said!

Well said, Tissa!

 

§

 

What think you, Tissa?

Is body permanent or impermanent?"

[92] "Impermanent, lord."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, lord."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, lord."

"Is feeling permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, lord."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, lord."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, lord."

"Is perception permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, lord."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, lord."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, lord."

"Are the activities permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, lord."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, lord."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, lord."

"Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, lord."

"That which is impermanent,
is it weal or woe?"

"Woe, lord."

"But that which is impermanent,
woeful,
unstable in nature,
is it right to regard it thus:

'This is mine,
this am I
this is the Self of me?'"

"Surely not, lord."

 

§

 

"Therefore, Tissa, every body whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every body should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

Every feeling whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every feeling should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

Every perception whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every perception should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

Every activity whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every activity should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

Every consciousness whatever,
be it past,
future
or present,
be it inward or outward,
gross or subtle,
low or high,
far or near, -
every consciousness should be thus regarded,
as it really is,
by right insight:

'This is not mine.

This I am not.

This is not the Self of me.'

"Wherefore, Tissa, he who thus sees
conceives disgust at body,
at feeling,
at perception,
at the activities,
at consciousness.

Being disgusted
he is repelled by them;
by that repulsion he is released;
by that release he is set free;
knowledge arises:
in the freed man is the freed thing,
and he knows:

'Destroyed is rebirth;
lived is the righteous life;
done is the task;
for life in these conditions
there is no hereafter.'

 

§

 

Suppose now, Tissa, there be two men,
one unskilled
and the other skilled in wayfaring.

And the one who is unskilled
asks the way of the other
who is skilled in that way.

And that other replies:

'Yes.

This is the way, good man.

Go on for a while
and you will see the road divide into two.

Leave the path to the left
and take the right-hand path.

Go on for a little,
and you will see a thick forest.

Go on for a little
and you will see a great marshy swamp.

Go on for a little
and you will see a steep precipice.

Go on for a little
and you will see a delightful stretch of level ground.'

Such is my parable, Tissa,
to show my meaning;
and this is the meaning thereof:

By 'the man who is unskilled in the way,' Tissa,
is meant the many-folk.

By 'the man who is skilled in the way,' Tissa,
is meant a Tathāgata,
an Arahant,
a Fully Enlightened One.

By 'the divided way,' Tissa,
is meant 'the state of wavering.'

The 'left-hand path,' Tissa,
is a name for this false eightfold path,
to wit:
wrong views,
wrong intention,
wrong speech,
wrong action,
wrong living,
wrong effort,
wrong mindfulness,
wrong concentration.

Note: 'Right-hand' is not 'Sammā', but 'Dakkhiṇa'

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

The 'right-hand path,' Tissa,
is a name for this Ariyan Eightfold Path,
to wit:
right views,
right intention,
right speech,
right action,
right living,
right effort,
right mindfulness,
right concentration.

The 'thick forest,' Tissa,
is a name for ignorance.

The 'great marshy swamp,' Tissa,
is a name for the feeling-desires.

The 'steep precipice,' Tissa,
is a name for vexation and despair.

'The delightful stretch of level ground,' Tissa,
is a name for Nibbāna.

Be of good cheer, Tissa!

Be of good cheer, Tissa!

This makes no sense and it is not incorrect to have translated these: "I have counciled you, I have comforted you, I have taught you."

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

I to counsel (you)!

I to uphold!

I to teach."[4] [93] Thus spake the Exalted One,
and the venerable Tissa was comforted
and welcomed the words of the Bxalted One.

 


[1] For Tissa see S. ii, 282; Brethren, p. 43.

[2] This picturesque sentence, as a stock expression of dejection, occurs elsewhere - e.g., D. ii, 99; S. v, 153; A. iii, 69, but api-api ca generally has a concessive sense, which it has not here. Cf. Brethren, p. 356: -

'The firmament on every hand
Grows dim; yea, all confusèd stand
The truths I seemed to understand.'

madhuraka-jāto, rendered in other translations 'weak as a creeper.' Cy. says: 'heavy and lumpish,' sañjāta garu-bhāvo viya akammañño. Apparently the idea to be conveyed is that of intoxication (madhura. Skt. madhula, liquor). See Pāli Dict, ad vb. At Udāna iv, 4, where Sāriputta is hit on the head by a yakkha, he says api ca me sīsaŋ thokaŋ dukkhaŋ, 'I did feel a bit dizzy,' Comy. remarks apppamattakaŋ madhuraka-jataŋ viya me sīsaŋ dukkhan ti. The word also means 'the jīvika plant.' Cf. D. ii 99; Dialogues, ii. 107.

[3] Dhammā. At D. i, 99, translated 'faculties,' I think wrongly. Here Comy. explains it as pariyatti-dhammā, 'the Norm committed to memory.'

[4] Here text has anusāsaniya. Comy. reads āmisa-dhammānuqgahena, explained as 'material and spiritual blessing.' The instrumental case here expresses purpose Cf. Udāna, 23-4, abhirama, Nanda: ahaŋ te pāṭibhogo paṭilābhāya.
[Lit 'I by (or with) counsel! I with, etc.' It is a rare and precious glimpse surviving of the strong radiant magnetic personality imparting will to the weaker brother. - (original) Ed.]


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